It’s easy for me to write, list and advise different tools I have learnt to use as coping strategies. I use the word ‘learnt’ lightly’ as I am still trying to teach myself.
Research suggests that it takes 21 days to form a habit, as long as all you want to do is drink a glass of water after breakfast. Anything harder is likely to take longer to become a really strong habit.. The point that I’m trying to make is, your not going to learn techniques overnight. It takes time and practise. Be patient with yourself.
I share my knowledge not as things you need to and should do, but as things you might try in your journey of change and learning. It is also important to note that coping strategies that work for me may not work for you.
Habits are tied to triggers. A coping mechanism can become a type of addiction. Like most habits, coping mechanisms have an addictive quality to them. They can make us feel compulsive and we can experience a level of difficulty resisting them. Coping mechanisms can be a distraction, used as a way of avoiding stress. Cleaning is a massive distraction for me. I know my cleaning routine is definitely not healthy yet even I though I am fully aware, I can’t stop myself. It’s no longer a choice I make, more of an unconscious habit I have developed that prevents me from dealing directly with stress.
Being kind to myself is another good habit skill I need to keep practicing. In fact, self kindness is a skill many people lack. Treating yourself like a friend can give you the support you need. Make time for yourself. Self care is important. Taking care of myself doesn’t mean ‘ me first’, it means ‘me too!’. Make it a priority to set aside time everyday to relax and escape life’s stress.
PSA – – if you struggle with anxiety/apprehension/thinking about the past/future, I HIGHLY recommend reading the book: The Power of NOW by Eckhart Tolle✨📖